The graduating class of 2022 at Otis College of Art & Design received the surprise of a lifetime when they learned during their Commencement that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and his wife Miranda Kerr would be paying off their student loans.
As soon as the news sunk in, the room erupted into cheers.
The Los Angeles-based art and design college, founded in 1918, touts itself as Los Angeles’s first professional arts school. Tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year is close to $25,000.
In his remarks leading up to the announcement, President Charles Hirschhorn noted that most of the students and their families shared a burden of student debt that could compromise their futures and limit their creative ambitions. “We do not want to see this happen,” Hirschhorn said. “We want to empower your imagination, your creativity, and innovation,” he added.
Over 43 million Americans currently have federal student loan debt.
Spiegel took classes at Otis College while in high school. During his remarks, he said that Otis College changed his life and his experience there pushed him and challenged him to grow.
This single gift is the largest in the history of the college.